Hello, dear readers!
This is the second installment of blog posts focused on my 24th birthday celebration. Click here if you haven’t read Pt. 1!
As I mentioned in my previous birthday post, I had one more surprise in store before heading back to Morris. My family and I (my mom, dad, and little sister, Abbie) went to see Chanhassen’s production of Mary Poppins. This proved to be insightful for Abbie, who will be playing Mrs. Crawley in her high school production of the play.
This particular version of Mary Poppins combined the works of P.L. Travers and the ’60s Disney version. Travers, I came to realize, is the author of not just one but eight children’s books devoted to the Bank’s children and the magical nanny.
Unlike the Disney version, which is much more light-hearted and cheerful, the musical I watched was much darker. While I enjoyed the back story that was provided for Mr. and Mrs. Banks, I felt like the magical atmosphere that Walt Disney created from Travers’ book wasn’t there in the Chanhassen play.
I love Chanhassen. I’ve been there several times over the years, and have seen some fantastic plays–Annie, Singing in the Rain–but there’s something definitely missing from this portrayal of Mary Poppins and her youthful charges.
Pros of Chanhassen’s Mary Poppins
– everyone who takes the stage can sing
– the “Step in Time” sequence was really cool
– the “Feed the Birds” song almost made me cry
– the parents have their own substantive background stories, which flesh them out as people who have dreams and memories
– the “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” sequence at the end of the pay was beautiful. There were kites dispersed throughout the audience, which was wonderful.
Cons of Chanhassen’s Mary Poppins
– leaving Chanhassen, my family and I all agreed that the play didn’t fill us with a sense of joy and happiness. It just felt too dark.
– lack of flying. (There were no wires to lift Mary Poppins into the air.)
– the actress who played Mary Poppins seemed confined in her role
– Jane and Michael Banks didn’t feel like children
– the play didn’t move fast enough–it seemed to drag at times
Overall, while I loved my last birthday surprise, the play could’ve been better. To Chanhassen’s credit, it was only their first night performing.
Because I’ve seen Abbie’s high school production of Mary Poppins, I’ll do a theater review of her production in a later post.